CIP codes: what they are & why they are important
They are called CIP codes, and while they may mean little to most of us, they are critical to our campus in the eyes of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), among other reasons.
It is via CIP codes that we align our major programs of study with those that ICHE has approved us to offer.
Need for compliance
“CIP codes allow us to record our programs consistently with ICHE and (Purdue) West Lafayette,” Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ralph Rogers said. “Our CIP codes need to be in compliance or our degrees are not counted properly, which affects the accuracy and appropriateness of our data tracking ability.”
As reported in the Oct. 24 issue of The Bridge, our ability to track data better is essential in our campus efforts to determine best strategies for addressing a projected $3 million shortfall in our university budget next academic year (2013-14).
Vice Chancellor of Information Services Frank Cervone, who is overseeing efforts to get our CIP coding in line by the start of the 2013-14 academic year, added that appropriate CIP coding has other implications.
Important to students
“Our primary objective is to code programs in such a way that they can be compared equitably to academic programs across the state, region and nation,” he said. “That’s important to students who transfer to or from our campus so that academic program consistency is assured.”
There also is the issue of diverse academic program terminology and the related inconsistencies that result from such references as “degrees”, “disciplines”, “majors”, “concentrations”, “options” and “minors”.
As the first Purdue campus to implement Banner, we introduced our own set of major codes,” Cervone said. “So, for example, we have six different CIP codes for reporting accounting students; West Lafayette has one code.”
Bottom line: in the face of rigorous requirements, we need to be consistent in the manner in which we offer standards to benefit students and, ultimately, all of Purdue Calumet in our ongoing quest to track and validate more vital and revealing data.
Thomas L. Keon